Estate plans are more than just making a will and taking out a life insurance policy. A complete plan involves several types of documents and a series of actions on your part. You can learn from other's mistakes by taking a look at the below common estate-planning misses, though. Read on and find out more.
Don't Forget To Plan For Incapacitation
A good estate plan deals not only with what happens after death but incapacity too. You might need a variety of documents to cover how you want your medical, financial, and business interests to proceed upon being unable to make those decisions yourself. Consider creating a healthcare directive (also known as a living will) along with designating powers of attorney.
Don't Leave Out Long-Term Care Needs
Nursing home and assisted living facilities can be expensive, and using Medicaid to pay for that care could place your entire estate in jeopardy. Ask your estate planning attorney about long-term care insurance along with using special deeds to protect your property from seizure by Medicaid after you pass away.
Don't Burden Your Loved Ones With Final Plans
Making your final wishes known can be a loving act for your survivors. You can contact a funeral home and turn your wishes into plans that are ready and already paid for when the time comes.
Don't Forget To Consider a Trust
A trust allows you to make private, detailed plans to cover how you want your assets distributed to your loved ones. The best thing about a trust is how it keeps any assets out of probate. Beneficiaries can be named, provisions made for pets, methods to provide funds to minor children, and more can be done with a trust but not a will.
Don't Think You Don't Need a Will
Wills are still necessary even if you have a trust. The county probate office will take over if you die intestate and make asset distribution and personal representative decisions for you. A will protects the estate from some creditors while allowing some to be paid on a priority basis.
Never Just Leave Your Estate Plans Alone
Estate planning needs to be an ongoing action. Every year, revisit your plans, and update things as needed. Marriages, deaths, births, divorces, adoptions, sales and purchases of homes, tax law changes, and more are just a sample of things that can happen that prompt a need to revisit your plans.
Speak to an estate planning attorney about your needs for a complete estate plan.